Assitive technology can be as simple as a grab bar, shower seat or pill dispenser. Or, they can be as complex as a home automation system or in-home monitoring system.
All are designed to help a person live in their home environment in safety and comfort.
Not all assistive technology has to “high-tech”, of course. Many of the technologies we use every day are “low-tech”. We provide some examples below of both low and high-tech items.
Low-tech assistive technology
- Grab bars – In the bathroom for toileting and bathing, or anywhere a person might need to steady themselves while performing a tasks or having to lower or raise to sit.
- Temperature-activated flow reducer – A big name for a small device that turns off the water if it gets too hot.
- Grabbers – A hand-held device that allows someone to reach up or down to collect an item, such as a can from a shelf or a sock from the floor.
- Shower seats – Allows a person to take a shower sitting down, which can be more safe for those who are not able to stand for long periods of time and especially beneficial to prevent falls in the shower.
- Lever handles – Lever handles on faucets and doors are easier for everyone to use, especially the elderly or those who have trouble gripping and turning.
- Magnifiers – Can be implemented for reading, crafting or watching TV.
High-tech assitive technology
- Cell phones – Cell phones are commonplace for many people in today’s world. They are great for emergencies or staying in touch on the go. Cell phones such as the Jitterbug, Snapfon or Doro all have large text screens, large buttons, simple navigation and are easier to use than standard cell phones.
- Automatic counter tops or shelves – These look deceptively like any other counter top or shelf. The difference? They raise & lower (or open and lower) to allow a person easy access to use the counter surface or get to the contents of the shelf.
- Home automation – Has been used traditionally for stereos, televisions and security. Thankfully, the technology has advanced enough to provide even easier-to-use home security, lights that come on as you enter a room (or dark hallway or stairs at night) and easier environmental controls.
- Personal computers – Millions of seniors are online worldwide and are able to keep in touch with family and friends with email, photos, video phones and social networks.
- In-home health or activity monitoring – Personal emergency systems have come a long way and have grown into systems that can monitor health conditions, falls or even if the refrigerator has been opened recently.
Professionals who can help
There are aging in place professionals in your community that can help you with assistive technoloty choices. Home remodelers, home automation specialists, Occupational Therapists, monitoring service companies and others that can present you with information about different assistive technology products to keep you safe or make your life a little easier.